Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MIRACLES Report Summary

Project ID: 11953
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: United Kingdom

Results from cleaning up public vehicle fleets

- To reduce the environmental impact of the public transport fleet.
- To reduce the environmental impact of County Council fleet.

An Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was declared for Winchester in November 2003, due to high concentrations of air pollutants in the city centre. To improve air quality the MIRACLES project supported the take up of cleaner fuels and technology, and ran a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of environmentally friendly vehicles.

Prior to MIRACLES, most of the buses owned by the main public transport operator, Stagecoach, were Euro II standard or less. Of these, around two thirds were pre-Euro and Euro I, and one third were Euro II. Stagecoach had set up a programme to upgrade its fleet to Euro II standard, but in partnership with Hampshire County Council (HCC) it was decided that this should be extended to meet the Euro III standards introduced in 2001.

To reduce the environmental impact of HCCs fleet, seven LPG and 30 Euro IV pool vehicles were purchased, and the Energy Savings Trust, Motorvate (green fleet accreditation) programme was joined, in order to undertake benchmarking of HCC s fleet and receive recommendations to reduce unnecessary business mileage and emissions.

Description of the implementation
A Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) was agreed between HCC, MIRACLES, Winchester City Council and Stagecoach in September 2003. As a result 13 new Euro III buses were introduced on two key routes. In addition 10 buses were repowered from Euro I to Euro III and four Euro II buses on the P+R route were fitted with Continuous Regenerative Traps (CRTs).

Selective Catalytic Reduction systems were also installed on one re-powered bus and five of the new Euro III buses. A secondary aim was to introduce the public to alternative fuel types and diesel/electric hybrid buses were demonstrated during two trials on the P+R route.

By joining the Motorvate programme it was hoped that through leading by example other companies in Hampshire would also join the scheme.

Key Findings
Re-powering buses to higher Euro standards is a cost and energy efficient way of reducing the pollutants of city centre buses. Maintenance costs decreased by 60% for the new Euro III buses, although fuel consumption increased slightly. For the re-powered Euro III buses, fuel consumption remained constant and they had lower smoke test readings than when fitted with Euro I standard engines.

The percentage of lost miles (due to vehicle breakdown) for the overall bus fleet decreased during the project, partly due to the introduction of the new Euro III buses.
A questionnaire survey found 63% of respondents perceived that the hybrid bus was more comfortable than the usual P+R bus and 81% thought it was quieter. 24% stated that the permanent introduction of a hybrid bus would make them use the P+R service more frequently.

HCC are on target to meet Motorvate�s reduction of a 12% in CO2 and 3% mileage, spread over five years.

Reported by

Highways and Transport Policy
SO23 8UD Winchester
United Kingdom
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